The new GCSE grading system

GCSE subjects and the system for grading them have been overhauled in recent years.  A numerical grading system of 9-1 has replaced the previous system of A*-G with 9 as the highest achievable grade and 1 as the lowest (although there will also be a grade U for those who fail to achieve the minimum requirements for grade 1).

Grade 5 will be considered a ‘strong pass’ and Grade 4 a ‘standard pass’, with performance tables focusing on pupils achieving grades 9-5 and 9-4.

The new system has been designed to reveal differences between candidates at the top end of the spectrum. The previous top two grades (A* and A) have been replaced with three top grades (9,8 and 7). Grade 9 is being referred to by some as an A**, as it will only be awarded to approximately the top 3% nationally.

Grading System Explained